Lori Gensch, the new principal of Hemlock & K.C. Ling Elementary may already look familiar to parents and staff.
Gensch has lived in Hemlock for more than a dozen years. She and husband Mike’s son Cooper is a second-grader at K.C. Ling. Their son Carter, now a sixth-grader, got his elementary education at Ling, too. Their son Kaden is in the Young Fives program at Hemlock Elementary but will be coming to kindergarten next year at Ling.
“This is a good time for me take on a principal’s role since my youngest is starting school,” said Gensch, who taught fifth-grade at neighboring Freeland Elementary School for the last 14 years. “I know I’ll miss having one group of 30 kids that I bond tightly with. But, as a principal, I’ll be an instructional leader for teachers, and that’s a chance for me to affect students beyond one classroom.”
At K.C. Ling, Gensch will lead 22 teachers and more than 350 students in grades kindergarten through fourth. She will also have some administrative responsibilities at nearby Hemlock Early Childhood Center, although preschool supervisor Wendy Plewa provides most of the oversight there.
Gensch earned a master’s degree in educational leadership at Saginaw Valley State University in 2009. She served in many leadership capacities at Freeland, including chairing the School Improvement Committee for 11 years. She was also designated as a grade-level leader and served on curriculum committees.
K.C. Ling students this year will have a weekly STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) special. Gensch hopes to supplement that instruction by expanding after-school opportunities for learning. Specifically, she plans to create a Makerspace where students can indulge their curiosity as they engage in hands-on activities and experiment with new technology.
Gensch and her husband, an accountant at Dow, both grew up in Merrill. She said they like making their home in a small town “where people tend to treat each other more like family.”
Gensch can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling her at school (989) 642-9245.